With its wild moorland, dramatic coastline, sandy beaches and picture perfect villages, Cornwall is a stunningly beautiful place to visit on holiday. 

From adventure sports and days at the beach to local legends and weird and wonderful attractions, Cornwall has it all. No wonder then that it's one of the UK's most popular choices of camping holiday destination.

Our favourite things to do in Cornwall

With so many highlights, Cornwall deserves a longer list!

  • The entire gorgeous coastline
  • St Ives
  • Eden Project
  • Tintagel

For more suggestions, take a look at our Ultimate Cornwall Visitor Guide where the county's tourism insiders share their own favourite things to do.

The incredible Cornish coast

With almost 300 miles of coastline, Cornwall is a water sports paradise and the surfing capital of the UK. Pretty much every water sport is on offer here - windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, the list is endless.

Love it or hate it, Newquay is probably Cornwall's most famous town. The surf is up, the nightlife is brash and the tourists come here in droves. It's a great place to go for some fun, to learn to surf or maybe take in a festival or two. Newquay Zoo is one of the best around.

Find a Newquay holiday park.

There are, of course, hundreds of attractive sandy beaches along the Cornish coastline and plenty of camping sites clustered around them.

The north coast of Cornwall on the Atlantic Ocean is wilder and more dramatic than the pretty south coast, known as the Cornish Riviera. Several of the beaches, such as Kynance Cove, have been rated amongst the best in the world and guarantee a great day out for the entire family.

Lying 45 km off the coast of mainland Cornwall, the culturally unique Isles of Scilly offer a wide variety of outdoor activities. The islands are absolutely spectacular, with white sand beaches, green rolling landscapes and the warmest climate in the UK. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Seychelles here!

The dramatic cliffs at the county's most southern and western points, the Lizard Peninsula and Land's End, are outstandingly beautiful and offer a large number of walking, hiking and biking trails. The whole of the South West Coast Path is superb, with the Rumps another highlight.

Inland, Bodmin Moor is sometimes unfairly overlooked despite offering a wild landscape full of myth and legend, with great walking routes and bridleways. Climb the two summits, Brown Willy and Rough Tor, for supreme views.

Enchanting villages

Cornwall has an endless list of quaint and enchanting fishing villages to explore. You never know what is around the next bend and it's great fun to explore the area by car or bike. Don't miss the wonderful town of St Ives which has a thriving arts scene, including the Tate St Ives which incorporates the brilliant Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gallery.

St Ives also has some fantastic restaurants and Cornwall in general has become something of a foodie hotspot - celebratory chef Rick Stein has practically taken over the lively fishing town of Padstow. Affluent neighbour Rock and vibrant Penzance also have famously good restaurants, shops and local attractions.

Other favourite places to camp in Cornwall include Bude, Fowey, Looe, Port Isaac and St Agnes.

A fascinating past

With a rich and varied history, Cornwall has a huge amount to offer in the way of sightseeing. There are plenty of fantastic old buildings to visit including the impressive Pendennis Castle, which has a wealth of fascinating (and spooky!) stories to its name. Truro Cathedral and St Michael's Mount are also both well worth a visit.

The region is strongly connected to the legend of King Arthur. Tintagel Castle is believed to be his birthplace and you can enjoy exploring these mysterious cliffside ruins before climbing down to the beach below to visit Merlin's Cave.

Less than a 15 minute drive away is the Arthurian Centre, which is home to King Arthur's stone and is believed to be the site of Camlann, his last battle. The waterfall at St Nectan's Glen, where the knights are said to have bathed, is a wonderful little hidden gem.

Likewise the old mining buildings of Wheal Coates which are perhaps uniquely photogenic, set against a backdrop of sea views near St Agnes.

Going back even further, you'll find mysterious prehistoric monuments including standing stones and stone circles, as well as hundreds of interesting ruins dating all the way from the Iron Age to the Medieval period.

Superb attractions

Everyone should visit Cornwall's famous Eden Project at least once. The huge biomes contain thousands of plant species from all over the world, and adults and kids alike will enjoy exploring the environments, gardens and incredible architecture. In summer, the vibe at their Eden Sessions concerts is incredible.

Find somewhere close by to stay with our listings of campsites near the Eden Project.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Trebah Gardens are also both a treat for anyone interested in horticulture.

For a spot of culture, visit the stunning open-air Minack Theatre. Built in the 1930s, the theatre enjoys a breath-taking position jutting out on the cliffs of Porthcurno near Land's End. Lots of performances take place as the sun is setting - an experience you won't want to miss.

Adventure sports are popular in Cornwall and the Adrenalin Quarry near Liskeard is rightly popular. It has the UK's maddest zip wire, a giant swing, and offers coasteering trips where you can jump off cliffs, wild swim and transverse rock faces all in the fabulous setting of an abandoned quarry. SUP in a BAG is a great way of trying out the stand up paddleboard craze.

Animal lovers will find Screech Owl Sanctuary a real hoot. You can meet lots of rescued feathered friends who are homed and rehabilitated here, along with a whole range of other animals like pygmy goats, emus and meerkats. The Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre is another wonderful place, with otters and other British wildlife such as fallow deer and the rare Scottish Wildcat. Porfell Wildlife Park has more exotic wildlife to see up close.

For a really fun family day out, the region is home to also two theme parks, Crealy Great Adventure Park and Flambards, each with thrilling rides and fun attractions.

Adults looking to sample the local tipples should visit Camel Valleyand The St Austell's Brewery - the oldest family-owned brewery in Cornwall.

And finally, for an excellently spooky and unusual little day trip, check out the spellbinding Museum of Witchcraft in scenic Boscastle. This absolutely fascinating museum is extremely popular with visitors of all ages and should definitely not be missed.

For more ideas, please visit our things to do in Cornwall pages.